18 Sep 2013

Hundreds still missing after Colorado floods

9:09 pm on 18 September 2013

Emergency teams are searching for hundreds of people still missing after Colorado's deadly floods.

State officials say more than 300 are still unaccounted for, but many are believed to be merely cut off in remote areas inundated by the historic rains.

Several towns were encircled by raging waters. More than 3000 people have been evacuated by air and ground.

The BBC reports the floods have been blamed for eight deaths, 1500 homes destroyed and another 17,000 properties damaged.

Days of rain was followed by a flash-flood rainstorm in the early hours of Wednesday last week.

Colorado Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Micki Trost on Tuesday night said that 306 people were missing: 109 in Boulder County and another 197 in Larimer County.

By Tuesday, military helicopters had flown almost 2400 people and more than 850 pets to safety, in what National Guard officials say may be the largest airlift since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The flood zone covers parts of or all of 17 Colorado counties, in the normally semi-arid region around the state's major cities.